Civil liberty and fundamental rights: a juridical perspective - Quentin Skinner
From Iain Mcgee
Civil liberty and fundamental rights: a juridical perspective
Prof Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities, Queen Mary University of London
About the lecture
This lecture focuses on a view about civil liberty that used to be widely accepted in European legal thinking but became largely lost to sight after the rise to hegemony of the view that freedom can be defined simply as an absence of interference with choices and actions. The lecture opens by outlining the earlier and rival view that liberty is best conceived as the condition of not being subject to the power of others. This view is traced to Roman and common law traditions of thinking about the law of persons and related discussions about ‘fundamental’ rights. The lecture ends by considering how the re-appropriation and development of this perspective might help us to think more fruitfully about some current threats to privacy and liberty.